The Way I Used To Be

How did I get it?:
I bought it!


Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.


I went into this book totally knowing that it wasn’t going to be an easy read. It really wasn’t an easy read, the subject matter is incredibly tough. It’s a book that isn’t perfect. There are some moments within it that I can imagine people really disliking, however, The Way I Used To Be had me gripped right from the beginning. I couldn’t stop turning the pages, eager to find out what was going to happen to Eden.

Readers can tell from the synopsis of this book that it involves a violent rape of a fourteen year old girl. Eden is raped by her brother’s best friend and is warned to keep things quiet. As the story opens, the rape occurs. There’s no holding back or build up. Right away, the reader experiences such an awful attack on Eden. The rest of the book deals with the aftermath, where Eden completely changes who she was because of the terrible incident. Eden doesn’t deal with the situation well (Who would?!) and throughout the rest of Eden’s high school experience, the reader sees Eden’s life spiral out of control.

It was really sad to see Eden struggle with what had happened to her. She wasn’t kind to herself, the reader can certainly tell she hates herself. Eden becomes promiscuous as she completely internalises what had happened to her. Even though the reader didn’t know Eden before the attack, it’s clear that she’s far from what she used to be.

There were so many unanswered questions, but certainly things to think about from reading this book. The story is negative event after negative event but I do think there is a glimmer of hope in there for Eden.

I would definitely give a trigger warning about this sensitive subject. Amber Smith writes with raw honesty, so I would be cautious when approaching this read!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A raw encounter of a girl’s life after an awful incident! A brilliant debut!


5 thoughts on “The Way I Used To Be

  1. I had the same thing going on where I HAD to know what was going to happen to Eden. It was a really hard subject to read about… but at the same time a totally authentic and important story. I can’t even imagine how this book will be followed up!! It was SUCH a strong debut!

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